Jake Smolowe

Piano—Giant Steps Big Band Coach


ake Smolowe is a San Francisco pianist, composer, music educator, arranger and film scorer. He specializes in jazz improvisation but his work explores many genres, including funk, rock, blues, latin, folk, gospel, classical, electronic and experimental music.

Jake fell in love with jazz at a young age while attending the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and graduated from Stanford University in 2006 with a B.A. in Music with Honors in Composition. After graduating he moved north to join the vibrant San Francisco jazz community, and has been making music in the City ever since.

Jake has toured throughout the U.S. and Canada with several bands, including rock/Americana band Sioux City Kid, soul/R&B band Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Revue, and internationally renowned blues harpist and vocalist John Németh. He appears as a contributing artist on Németh’s 2010 release, “Name The Day,” playing organ. He currently plays regular jazz gigs around the Bay Area with saxophonist Jeff Derby, continues to perform with Quinn Devaux, and also plays solo jazz piano concerts of his own work.

Jake has been working as a private piano instructor since 2005, and is also involved in the greater Bay Area music education community, including the Stanford Jazz Workshop and other organizations. He currently works as a piano coach with SJW through their Giant Steps Big Band program (2015-2017). Additionally, he has assisted SJW director Jim Nadel with his Stanford Continuing Studies jazz listening class since 2003.

In addition to performing and teaching, Jake composes and arranges prolifically. He has scored music for documentaries, animated short films and webcomics, and has also written for big band, small jazz ensembles and solo piano.

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